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October 25, 2014

The Amazing Race: They Thought Godzilla Was Walking Down the Street (season premiere)

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Sep 28th 2009 12:38AM
Phil Keoghan gets the teams started on The Amazing Race
(S15E01) In this single two-hour season premiere, we were reminded why The Amazing Race keeps snapping up those Emmy Awards for the best reality show on television. We're talking quality teams -- no Jerry Springer fans here! We're talking the adrenalin rush that viewers get just sitting on couches watching the show. We're talking a glimpse into other lands, cultures, and people we might never get the chance to experience in our own lives. We're talking simply amazing.

In this season premiere, there was one team eliminated before the race even left the starting line. That, of course, solved the problem of twelve teams when we usually have eleven. I had scouted out the teams on the CBS show website prior to the season and wasn't really upset with the team that got the boot (Eric and Lisa). As vegans, watching them in a cultural food roadblock might be interesting, but I had no emotional attachment. I do think it's a shame that folks tried so hard to get on the show only to be eliminated before it started.

But then the action started as the teams headed off to Tokyo and I forgot all about them. I'm enjoying this cast of racers for the most part. About the only one who's really irked me so far is Lance of Lance and Keri. What an overbearing obnoxious lout of a lawyer! Alas, they're not doing so badly so far.

The Japanese game show roadblock was a hoot! I never could have done it myself. I'm touchy with my sushi and just don't do wasabi at all. I pity the racers who had to do the wasabi twice. The roadblock brought about all the thoughts I've had and bits I've seen of Japanese game shows. Well done! The leading of the visored-people was fun to watch, as well. It always looks like the locals in the different countries enjoy their roles even more than the racers.

We already have deception gone bad going on. The female poker player team (Maria and Tiffany) lied to everyone, telling them they worked for a non-profit organization helping the homeless. Now, I wouldn't recognize the world champ poker player, but someone in an airport did -- busted! The gay brother team (Dan and Sam) are flirting with the girls and playing it straight, although a few folks seem to be onto them. You can't hide Harlem Globetrotters, though. They kind of stand out in a crowd.

I was pleased that the first leg was a non-elimination, as it gives us a chance to know the teams a bit more. Maria and Tiffany had some spats, but they made it through the speed bump and lasted after their non-elimination finish in the first leg.

From Tokyo, it was off to a very wet Vietnam. Loading mud around trees and duck-herding, eh? We don't do those things in New Jersey. Or, at least, I've never been asked to do them. The pressure is already getting to the teams and there's a bit more quibbling with some. But, for the most part, I think I'm going to enjoy this cast.

Right now, my early running favorites are Zev and Justin -- the guy with Asperger's Syndrome and his best buddy. They're refreshing and different. I think Zev is going to have real challenges down the road, but he's doing excellent so far. It was so touching that he gave his jacket to a local who needed it more.

My runner-up favorites are the Globetrotters -- Flight Time and Big Easy. Maybe it's the music, I don't know. But these two are laid-back, experienced travelers, and seem to be in the race as much for fun as for the win. As an older person (not elderly, mind you), I'm pleased the older team, Ron and Marcy, are doing fairly well. Of the younger couples, I'm enjoying both the Cheyne/Megan and Mika/Canaan teams, even though I have trouble thinking of Canaan as anything other than a town in Connecticut.

The second leg was indeed an elimination leg. We lost Jessica and Garrett. Oh, well. I wasn't all that emotionally involved with them anyway. I find all of the couples "testing the relationship" a bit tiring. I would have preferred that Lance and Keri get the boot because he's just so slimy mean.

One thing I noticed this season is that the first place leg finish prizes seem a bit cheaper. The first leg, Megan and Cheyne won a trip to Vail and Aspen. What? No exotic foreign country? On the second leg, first place finishers Gary and Matt (father and son) each won a kayak. It better be a fancy-schmancy kayak! What's up with that?

So, have we got ourselves a good start to the season? I think so. Your thoughts? Does anyone like Lance?

[Watch episodes and clips of The Amazing Race over at SlashControl.]

Have you a favorite team yet?
Maria and Tiffany21 (5.0%)
Zev and Justin134 (31.8%)
Ron and Marcy4 (0.9%)
Flight Time and Big Easy117 (27.7%)
Cheyne and Megan28 (6.6%)
Dan and Sam61 (14.5%)
Lance and Keri3 (0.7%)
Brian and Ericka15 (3.6%)
Mika and Canaan19 (4.5%)
Gary and Matt20 (4.7%)

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Ðan

ya felt bad for the first team out Eric and Lisa at the license plate challenge I thought there was gonna be a twist LOL I thought the poker girls would be eliminated and that Eric and Lisa would be re-entered LOL to do the 2nd leg in last place but all fresh and not tired like the others but it was a non-elimination leg oh well. But did Lisa ever look like a young Judy Collins. And every time I see Matt and Gary (father and son) son has the pink hair-do well everytime I see his father on certain angles I think hey Jim Bakker is in the race LOL

September 29 2009 at 3:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MaryKay

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show! So glad it's back! I'm liking Zev and Justin and the Globetrotters, for much the same reason as others - kindness! I don't think the non-elimination penalty and speed bump were so hard - They all wound up on the same flight so the 2 hours made no difference, and the speed bump looked very quick. Not-so-sure I like the poker girls, but they did come from last to the middle. Also, felt bad for the couple eliminated at the start - to get all ready and be out before they started has to be hard. I liked their comment that they bore the brunt of the humiliation of first out to spare the others. They could have been a fun team to watch.

September 28 2009 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Asberger's? Really, Jackie? Come on... Why not go all the way and call him an ass burger?

Asperger's, for the record.

I really didn't like that one team was eliminated before they even started the race proper. It's like brining teams in America's Got Talent to Las Vegas, just to send them right back home... kinda lame. Though I think they did that because the first actual hour was a non-elimination leg. I liked that a lot, as it did give us a chance to see all the teams more and even have a speed bump right up front. Those aspects I think can stay, just without the extraneous 12th team.

Poker girls and slimeball lawyer are the only ones I really dislike at this point, though team Zev, Sam & Dan, and the Globetrotters are my favorites after the second leg.

Phil's look when he and the Japanese gameshow guy did the intro was just hilarious. I actually did my 7 second rewind to watch the eyebrow again! Too funny!

September 28 2009 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

I gotta say I'm already rooting for several teams, Zev & Justin, Maria & Tiffany, Big Easy & Flight, Sam & Dan, Matt & Gary.
See why here.
http://www.orble.com/teevee-the-amazing-race-927/

September 28 2009 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alejandro

This was the best opening season of all. It was great to have the first elimination challenge at the beggining. That was surprising. I'll will give my application once more.

September 28 2009 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

That had to be one of the funniest episode of Amazing Race ever. Japanese game show? Herding ducks? Oh man it was all comedy gold! I have NO QUALMS whatsoever that this show just keeps piling up the Emmy Awards because it actually deserves it. In fact out of all of the premieres I've seen this fall so far, I had to rate it as one of the best ones.

And other than Lance/Keri, I pretty much like all of the teams (so far). It's even difficult to figure out who to root for though I'm partial to Dan & Sam a bit.

September 28 2009 at 10:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GrumpyOldMan

Love the Aspergers team, and the asian-american half of the poker players. I think they're closer than the show wants to tell us.
They should never eliminate a team before the race again. Just kinda sad that they didn't get a shot.

September 28 2009 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fgsweetdog

I think the prizes for coming in first should be "cheaper." Why would they need to win a trip to an exotic country when they are traveling around the world. Hello?! Hmm. Interesting. Just voted and I see the "gay" team is ahead. Yea!

September 28 2009 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

I am so happy to have this show back, I get giddy just hearing the theme song (best one on TV.) So far, I'm with team Zev and team Globetrotters -- both are being kind and respectful with the locals which always wins my heart. I'm upset that Lance is sleazy... they're local to me and I wanted to root for them. Phil got robbed on the emmy front, I adore him.

September 28 2009 at 7:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TinyDancer500 (aka Rhonda)

So far, Zev is my favourite Amazing Racer *ever*! As the mother of an autistic son, I was naturally curious about this team going in. Zev is not only proving himself an able racer, he's really waving a terrific flag for the autism spectrum kids out there. Slow and steady just might win this race. You go, Zev! Major points to his buddy, Justin, too, love their friendship shining through. Otherwise, I was so hoping for karma to kick the poker gals in the butt, but, alas, it was not to be. For now ;-) And the Globetrotters are wonderful! Loved them carrying the one older Japanese lady and the wasabi quote, "It tastes like money!". Oh, how I've missed you, TAR, welcome back! Phil's eyebrow deserves its own Emmy, did you see that sucker flying?

September 28 2009 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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